This Day in FAA History: March 2nd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19290302: Domestic Air News reported that Pan American-Grace Airways (Panagra) successfully bid to carry air mail three times weekly from Cristobal, C.Z., to Santiago, Chile, the longest designated air mail route in the world. Created on January 25, 1929, Panagra was jointly controlled by Pan American Airway’s holding company and the W.R. Grace shipping company of New York. Its bid of $1.80 per mile, plus $0.90 per pound per thousand miles, was not the lowest submitted. Postmaster General Harry S. New explained, however, that the lowest bidder was not equipped to carry out the contract, and failure in the project would harm the prestige of U.S. aeronautical enterprise.
19330302: A regulatory amendment announced on this date increased the solo flying time required for a private pilot’s license from 10 to 50 hours. Holders of private pilot licenses had until June 1, 1933, to meet the new requirement. The amendment also abolished grade of industrial pilot and created the new grade of solo pilot. Students with 10 hours of flying time who passed specified tests could qualify for this grade. (See August 15, 1933).
19490302: The Lucky Lady II, a USAF Boeing B-50 commanded by Capt. James Gallagher, made the first nonstop round-the-world flight, covering 23,452 miles in 94 hours l minute. The aircraft, which took off from and returned to Carswell Air Force Base, in Fort Worth, Tex., was refueled in flight four times. (See December 23, 1986.)
19660302: President Johnson recommended to Congress the creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Transportation. The President noted that the United States lacked a coordinated transportation system permitting travelers and goods to move conveniently from one means of transportation to another, using the best characteristics of each. The responsibility for transportation within the Federal government, he observed, was fragmented among many agencies resulting in a series of uncoordinated modal policies. What was needed was a single department to develop and carry out comprehensive policies and programs for transportation in its totality.
The President proposed that the following agencies and functions be consolidated in the new department: the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation; the Bureau of Public Roads; the Federal Aviation Agency; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Maritime Administration; the safety functions of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB); the safety functions and car service functions of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC); the Great Lakes Pilotage Administration; the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; the Alaska Railroad; and certain minor transportation-related activities of other agencies. The President also recommended the creation within the Department of a National Transportation Safety Board, which would absorb the safety functions transferred from CAB and ICC. (See October 15, 1966.)
19710302: The Civil Aeronautics Board approved the merger of Trans Caribbean Airways into American Airlines, effective this date. Trans Caribbean had begun as a charter carrier in December 1945, and had begun scheduled service between New York and Puerto Rico in March 1958.
19900302: FAA issued a final rule requiring air carriers to restrict seats in exit rows to persons capable of activating emergency exits and performing other emergency functions during evacuation. Carriers were given until October 5, 1990, to comply (see October 27, 1992). Also on March 2, the Department of Transportation issued a revised regulation prohibiting airline discrimination against disabled passengers. The rule required accomodation for wheelchairs and limited an airline’s ability to restrict the number of disabled persons on a flight or to require passengers to travel with an attendant. It also including a ban on seating restrictions for the disabled, except to comply with FAA’s safety rule.
20040302: A new FAA-developed tool to predict in-flight icing became operational. Using the web-based forecast icing tool, aviation meteorologists and airline dispatchers could warn pilots about icing hazards up to twelve hours in advance.
20090302: FAA reached a settlement agreement with Southwest Airlines to resolve outstanding enforcement actions. Under the agreement, Southwest Airlines would pay a $7.5 million civil penalty that would double to $15 million if the airline did not accomplish specific safety improvements outlined in the agreement. The agreement stemmed from a $10.2 million civil penalty FAA proposed on March 6 against Southwest Airlines for operating 46 airplanes on 59,791 flights without performing mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking. (See March 6, 2008.)
20210302: FAA selected five host airports to evaluate technologies and systems that might be able to detect and mitigate potential safety risks posed by unmanned aircraft. Researchers planned to test and evaluate at least 10 technologies or systems at the following airports
* Atlantic City International Airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey
* Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York
* Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio
* Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama
* Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington
20220302: FAA issued orders blocking Russian aircraft and airlines from entering and using all domestic U.S. airspace as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The notice and regulatory orders suspended operations of all aircraft owned, certified, operated, registered, chartered, leased, or controlled by, for, or for the benefit of, a person who was a citizen of Russia. It included passenger and cargo flights, and scheduled and charter flights, effectively closing U.S. air space to all Russian commercial air carriers and other Russian civil aircraft. (January 8, 2020.)
20230302: FAA announced grant awards to 23 schools to help attract and train students for careers as pilots and aviation maintenance technicians. Twelve schools received $5 million from FAA’s Aircraft Pilots Aviation Workforce Development Grants program. The other $5 million went to 11 schools as part of FAA’s Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Workforce Development program.